Congratulations to Lynda Cox for knowing that the picture of the huge rock is known as Devil’s Tower and that it’s located in Wyoming. (Our travel post coordinator put all the right answers in a hat and pulled out the winner)
This adventure started a few months ago when my husband made an announcement at breakfast. He said he was ready to “hit the road.” What?? Before you get the wrong impression, let me clarify that this is his way of saying that he’s ready to take a road trip…for a few weeks…with me. (Whee! Sure glad we got that straightened out!)
Of course, I was on board immediately. Hubby checked the air in the tires of our Jeep and had the oil changed and he was ready to go. All I had to do was make two-plus weeks of hotel reservations, stop the mail delivery, hire a house/pet sitter, notify the credit card company that we’d be out-of-state…and…and…I think I’ve forgotten something. Humm…oh yes, I remember! I had to decide what we’d wear for the two weeks and then pack it all. Easily, pleasily!
It all got accomplished and soon we hit the road and it was like going back in time. You see, after hubby and I retired in 2005, we spent six months on the road seeing the U.S. We’d pop in a favorite CD, turn the volume up and cruise. Ah, now this is living.
Our first major stop was planned for Wyoming. We couldn’t resist taking the short detour off the main highway to see Devil’s Tower. What? You’ve never heard of it? Didn’t you see the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind? You know, where Richard Dryfus recreated Devil’s Tower with mashed potatoes…and then dirt and shrubs that he shoveled into his living room? Yeah, that Devil’s Tower.
Bear Lodge is one of many names that the American Indians gave this huge rock, but in 1875, Col. Richard Dodge gave it the name we use today. He was in charge of a military expedition sent to confirm the reports that gold had been discovered in the Black Hills area. It was believed at the time that this area was the core of an ancient volcano, but more recent data dispels this earlier belief.
The Tower stands 5,112 feet into the clear, Wyoming skies, but one side sports deep furrows. I’ve often wondered if something sinister happened at the Tower for it to get named a Devil…maybe the answer is in an old Indian legend. The legend is that eight children were playing at the base of the rock, seven sisters and their brother. Suddenly the boy was struck dumb. He trembled and then began to run upon his hands and feet. His fingers became claws, and his body was covered with fur. Magically, the sisters saw a bear where their brother had once been. The sisters were terrified, so they ran, but the bear chased them. They soon came to the stump of a great tree that spoke to them. It told them to climb onto its limbs. As they did, it began to rise into the air. The bear caught up with them, growling and snarling. The girls knew he was there to kill them, but they were just beyond its reach. It reared against the tree and scored the bark all around with its great claws. The tree rose up to the sky and the girls became the stars of the Big Dipper.
Geologists know that it was only water erosion that caused the deep furrows, but I still love the Indian legend best.
Since we’re not mountain climbers, we spent a couple of hours walking around the base of one side and then we were back on the road…Westward Bound! Next week I’ll be sharing about our next stop…Mount Rushmore. Hope you join us!
FOR EACH OF YOU WHO LEAVE A COMMENT, YOUR NAME WILL BE ENTERED IN A DRAWING FOR A SPECIAL BOOKMARK FROM DEVIL’S TOWER….SO BE SURE TO COMMENT!!! Good luck!!
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